GRESLEY slipped out of the Derbyshire Senior Cup at the third round stage as they fell to a narrow defeat at Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division outfit Ilkeston.
Following Saturday's disappointing defeat to Mickleover, a much improved performance from the visitors could have been topped off with a win if they had been more clinical with the chances they created, chances which were snuffed out either by fine saves from Ilkeston keeper Rob Peet or the woodwork.
Gresley manager Martin Rowe made changes to the starting line-up, with Lucas Harrison coming in at left back, and John Guy moving to centre half alongside Liam Guest (pictured).
Royce Turville was given the striker's role with Alex Steadman returning to a wide position.
The first half was devoid of action but fairly even, with neither goalkeeper tested.
However, Ilkeston took the lead just before the break when the referee gave a hotly disputed corner, taken by Ryan Wilson, which was only half cleared.
A strongly hit shot was blasted towards the goal, and although Mats Morch parried the ball away, Danny Gordon was quick to react, slamming it back into the unguarded net.
Steadman went agonisingly close to levelling the score five minutes into the second half, but Peet did extremely well to get a fingertip to the stinging shot and turn the ball over for a corner.
Jack Langston swung in the flag kick, which was met by Guest, but he headed just over the bar at the near post.
Eric Graves tested the keeper, who had to take two attempts to gather the ball as Gresley players raced in for the loose ball.
Harrison then sent a cross which Rob Spencer headed straight at Peet, and Ilkeston responded with Che Adams curling a shot narrowly past the post.
Gresley were unlucky not to have scored when substitute Paolo Piliero hit a shot which took a deflection, but with Peet helpless, the ball crashed back off the bar.
Minutes later Gresley went close again when Steadman raced down the left before finding Kieran O'Connell, who just could not connect well enough to test Peet.
A fine move from Gresley then ended with Steadman curling a shot which looked certain to end up in the far bottom corner of the net, but Peet's outstretched leg managed to send the ball away for a corner.
A rare second half attempt on goal by the home side came from substitute Gary Ricketts, who hit a superb shot on the turn, but Morch made a fine save.
The final attack of the game belonged to the visitors, as Steadman went through on goal, but Peet made another good block to deny Gresley the possibility of extra time.